Skip to main content

Full text of "Women and wisdom of Japan"

See other formats


LIBRARY OF 
WELLESLEY COLLEGE 




PRESENTED BY 



The Mayllog Soong Foundation 



XLbc Mt6^om of tbe iBast Series 

Edited by 

L. CRANMER-BYNG 

Dr. S. A. KAPADIA 



WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 



First Edition . , . /une 1905 
Reprinted . . . May 1909 



WISDOM OF THE EAST 

WOMEN AND WISDOM 
OF JAPAN 



WITH AN INTRODUCTION 

BY SHINGORO TAKAISHI 




LONDON 
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET 

1909 



252806 



v^A 



nc-i 



t\6 



CONTENTS 



Introduction H 

I 

Girl's Instruction . . . . • .33 

II 

Demarkation between the Sexes , • • 34 

III 

" Seven Reasons for Divorce " . , • ,35 

IV 

The Wife's Miscellaneous Duties , , , 38 

7 



8 CONTENTS 



V 

PAGE 

The Treatment op Servants . , , , 42 



VI 

The Infirmities of Woman • , , , 44 

APPENDIX A 
The Japanese Eevolution . , . , , 49 

APPENDIX B 
The Legal Conditions for a Divorce , , 63 



EDITORIAL NOTE 



THE object of the editors of this series is a 
very definite one. They desire above all 
things that, in their humble way, these books 
shall be the ambassadors of good-will and 
understanding between East and West, the old 
world of Thought, and the new of Action. In 
this endeavour, and in their own sphere, they 
are but followers of the highest example in the 
land. They are confident that a deeper know- 
ledge of the great ideals and lofty philosophy 
of Oriental thought may help to a revival of 
that true spirit of Charity which neither despises 
nor fears the nations of another creed and 
colour. Finally, in thanking press and pubHc 
for the very cordial reception given to the 
*' Wisdom of the East " series, they wish to state 
that no pains have been spared to secure the 
best specialists for the treatment of the various 
subjects at hand. 

L. CRANMER-BYNG. 
S. A. KAPADIA. 

northbrook society, 
185 Piccadilly, V/. 



19 



INTEODIJCTION 



THE sole basis of the entire moral teaching 
of Japan may be said, in the briefest phrase, 
to consist of the spirit of unselfishness. Thus, 
humility in place of ostentation, reserve in place 
of reclame, self-sacrifice in place of selfishness, 
forbearance in place of impetuosity, and complete 
submission to authority are the principal features 
of the Japanese moral code ; on these corner- 
stones stands the whole edifice under which the 
Eastern people have been brought up. 

The Onna Daigaku, or the " Greater Learning 
for Women," which is the text of this little book, 
is, as its title indicates, a half-dogmatised precept 
exclusively intended for women. The author 
is Kaibara Ekken, the famous moralist of Japan, 
who flourished about two hundred years ago. 
Kaibara Ekken was a great scholar of Japanese 
literature, with an immense knowledge of Chinese 
ethics. It is beyond question that his idea of 
morality was, to a great extent, formed on Chinese 
lines, as most of the other thinkers' and moralists' 

U 



12 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

ideas in those days were. But his style of writing 
was by no means the same as that of his compeers. 
The tranquilHty and uniform peacefulness at- 
tained under the Tokugawa Government, thanks 
to the subtle and shrewd policy inaugurated by its 
revered founder, lyeyasu, whereby the ambitions 
of the great feudal lords had been curbed, had 
naturally given a great impetus to the growth 
of various arts and of their peaceful pursuance 
by the people. Of the products of that genera- 
tion literature stood foremost. The scholars and 
thinkers indulged themselves in researches con- 
nected with nothing but the higher classics, both 
of the Japanese and Chinese. Their works were 
mostly written either in the Chinese way or the 
most classical style of their own language, no 
matter what were the subjects of their essays. 
Amid this pedantic fashion, Kaibara alone busied 
himself in expounding his own moral principles 
in the most popular style of writing known in 
his days. It is no great wonder that his works 
were read by the book-hungered people to such 
an extent that in a comparatively short interval 
of time it was not seldom that his works were to 
be found on even the scantily furnished shelves 
in poor merchants' houses, people of a class that 
was in those days the least addicted to reading, 
save in respect of a few standard books of tra- 
ditional value and antiquity. 

The Onna Daigaku was, of his many books, 



THE GREATER LEARNING FOR WOMEN 13 

the most popular, and for nearly two centuries 
after its publication it was looked upon through- 
out the country as one of the indispensable 
articles of a bride's trousseau box. The general 
trend of his doctrine, however, was by no means 
a new one ; there had already been a few similar 
essaj^s written by typical Samurai moralists 
dealing with the same subject, though they were 
of the casual and fragmentary nature. His book, 
moreover, was certainly not one of those which, 
as we find here and there in history, have effected 
great revolutions in the deep-rooted thoughts 
of a nation or in the moral conceptions prevailing 
among a people. I believe, nevertheless, that 
I am not mistaken in describing his book, on the 
whole, as one which represents and embodies 
the moral sense of the people of his day. He it 
was who combined traditional sayings and frag- 
mental precepts with his own morality, and set 
them down in readable form. Hence, in other 
words, he guided the masses who had but a vague 
comprehension of female morality in the direction 
towards which they wished to be led, and gave 
them an infallible belief in the truth of his teaching. 
At the same time it will be well understood that 
the great demand for his book was due, apart 
from its own intrinsic merit, to the fact that in 
those early days there was a ridiculously small 
number of popular books accessible to the reader, 
especially for women. Under these circumstances 



14 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

his books had tremendous vogue, and it is in- 
deed hardly to be credited, perhaps, by Western 
readers how great and sweeping was the influence 
that the doctrine contained in the Onna Daigaku 
had upon the popular idea of female morality. 
It was like a holy command ; it was like a 
religion which people never ventured to depart 
from nor even to criticise. 

It is always a subject for wonder that, apart 
from the differences that otherwise exist, there 
should be such utterly opposed ideas existing 
between Orientals and Occidentals in regard to 
the moral position of women. While it is un- 
doubtedly a difficult thing to understand, at 
least for the Easterners, how the Western woman 
has gained such a pre-eminence over the Western 
man in social life, it is no less hard for an Occi- 
dental to comprehend how the reverse state of 
things in the East should have come into exist- 
ence. It seems to me, however, that the old 
Eastern moralists fully realised the strong in- 
fluence which the fair sex has ever possessed by 
her nature over the other sex, and their dread 
of her resulted in the publication of the doctrine 
of her subordination to man and of her complete 
negation as a power. It was as far back as 
500 B.C. that Confucius, the greatest of all Chinese 
teachers, said, " Man and woman should never 
sit in the same apartment after they reach seven 
years of age." This was the first principle of 



WOMEN THE SOURCE OF EVIL 15 

the demarkation of the sexes to be observed 
between man and woman, and, indeed, the very 
germ of that negativeness of woman with which 
the relation between the sexes was to be regarded. 
The woman was to be left alone, the man had 
nothing to contribute towards her elevation. The 
more power the woman had, the stronger were 
the wiles against which, they confessed, man 
could ofiFer but a feeble resistance. Then there 
came another version. The Buddhists said, 
" Woman is a creature with the look of an angel 
on its countenance, but with a diabolical spirit 
in its inmost heart." " Woman is full of sin ; 
nothing is to be dreaded so much as a woman," 
they further insisted. (It is interesting to note 
here that in ancient days this idea was in no way 
peculiar to the East, for we know that Socrates 
in the West, almost at the same period, said, 
" Woman is the source of all evil ; her love is to 
be dreaded more than the hatred of man ; the 
poor young men who seek women in matrimony 
are like fish who go to meet the hook.") 

Thus, as it may be seen, while one school 
exhorted men not to have any dealings with 
woman, or at least to observe with the utmost 
rigidity the line of separation from her, the other 
went further, demonstrating her sinfulness and 
devilish depravity from the religious point of 
view. These ideas, with contemporary civilisa- 
tion and literature, spread across to Japan from 



16 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

the Asiatic Continent like eagles in full flight. It 
is no great wonder that in consequence the edu- 
cation of our women was neglected and her in- 
telligence became more and more narrow, owing to 
there being little or no chance for her to see things 
in the outer world. The next thing which was 
bound to happen was man's contempt and disdain 
for woman, for her narrow-mindedness and 
stupidity. Thus, one wrong brought another in 
its train. 

Woman's position in Japan, especially in her 
social relations, sank deeper and deeper into 
neglect and obscurity, when the incessant 
struggles between the feudal lords, generation 
after generation, rendered the whole country but 
a huge battle-field, and stirred our warriors to 
warlike frenzy in their search for the glory of 
brave deeds. This can be fully illustrated when 
we remember that some seventeen centuries ago 
there was a vague yet indisputable existence of 
a kind of Court society, a social feature which 
invariably gave ladies excellent chances to raise 
their relative influence over courtiers ; and that it 
was during this age we saw more female writers and 
other distinguished members of the fair sex than 
ever we did subsequently. But soon after, when, 
what we call Buke Jidai came upon the scene 
and the practical hold of the reins shifted from 
the Emperor to the Shogun, there was no room 
left for woman to display her natural charms. 



THE AGE OF NEGLECT 17 

Everywhere people went they saw nothing but 
warriors clad in full armour, sword in hand. The 
Bushi was disappointed and disheartened when 
he saw his wife gave birth to a girl, because, in 
his eyes, there was no attainment to rank and 
fame open to his child in its career : for he could 
not take her with him to the field, as he could a 
son, to fight for his lord. Woman became a mere 
being to rear up the posterity ! Woman was left 
neglected, became more and more ignorant and 
docile, and was reduced to a purely domestic 
existence. It was most disgraceful to a Bushi 
to be moved by woman's sway, no matter in what 
directions, or even to think too much of her. A 
man's heart, it was considered, when occupied 
with the higher conception of duty and devotion 
towards the Emperor or his overlord, had no 
place left for lighter cares. Effeminacy was the 
most shameful blot upon the chivalry of the age. 
Though the Bushi was taught to protect the 
weaker of either sex, yet extreme severity and 
coolness of demeanour towards the fair sex was 
regarded as a proof of a man's martial endur- 
ance. Truly, as Professor Chamberlain has said, 
" neither God nor the ladies inspired any enthu- 
siasm in the Samurai's heart," nor did he ever 
perform his valiant deeds for such a fanciful 
reward as a lady's smile. Love was understood 
to be inconsistent with valour : attachment to 
a woman was feared as a discouragement rather 

9 



18 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

than a stimulant to achievement. Where, then, 
could the poor woman stand ? But there was 
no help for it, for it was her fate to submit ! 

As our readers will see, Kaibara Ekken de- 
scribes the five worst infirmities which afflict the 
female mind, and he mentions silliness or stupidity 
as the worst of all and the parent of the other 
four. He attributed the inferiority of woman 
to man more particularly to this fact. It is of 
importance, in order to understand the true bear- 
ing of his doctrine, that this point should be 
particularly borne in mind. Thus he concludes 
that when viewed from the standard of man's 
nature, the foolishness of woman prevents her 
from understanding the duties that lie before her 
very eyes. We then have to allow that our 
women in those days were far inferior to men 
in every respect than was the case with most of 
the other races. Blind obedience to her husband, 
which, he tells us, was the safest way, was con- 
sidered to have been completely justified by this 
fact. But I must ask myself what Kaibara 
meant by the silliness and foolishness of woman. 
I cannot, however, think that our women, even 
in those times, were mentally imperfect or lacking 
in intellect. In short, his point of argument 
seems to be this : that a woman was too apt to 
give way to her passion ; as she did not see much 
of the world, she knew little how to wend her 
way ; she was too bashful and palpitating of 



A CREATURE OF IMPULSE 19 

heart to deal wisely with the other sex. Thus 
a husband was looked upon as a man who is 
guiding a blind person — one who sees absolutely 
nothing. It is altogether without significance 
that so learned a man like Kaibara Ekken did 
not even attempt to suggest any remedy for 
females' " foolishness," but that, on the con- 
trary, he took it to be an ineradicable failing 
due to the nature of the fair sex. Be that as 
what it may, it is undoubtedly true that the 
Japanese woman, even at the present day, is the 
shyest being in the world ! 

Turning our eyes to the husband — a husband 
who had such an unrestricted control over his 
wife and was regarded as the safest guide of his 
shy and delicate wife — it is most natural that 
he should at once find himself confronted with 
important questions. Then, did the Japanese 
husband fulfil his duty properly in the guidance 
of his consort ? Or, at least, was he well de- 
serving of being entrusted with such a tremendous 
responsibility ? I could not be reproached for 
a want of straightforwardness if I were to say, 
answering these questions, that he did not quite 
deserve to enjoy such warm affection and tender 
respect as every Japanese wife was willing to 
pay him. But he was by no means a bad hus- 
band. I can say safely that he loved, fondled, 
and petted his wife, no less than our Western 
husbanb does, But the laws of morality forbade 



20 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

him to pay her much respect in the outward 
manner, and thus to allow her real independence. 
Here I quite agree with Professor Chamberlain 
when he rightly and wittily says : " We would 
not have it thought that Japanese women are 
actually ill-used ; there is probably very little 
of wife-beating in Japan, neither is there any 
Zenana system, any veiling of the face ; rather 
is it that women are all their lives treated as 
babies, neither trusted with the independence 
which our modern manners allow, nor command- 
ing the romantic homage which was woman's 
dower in Mediaeval Europe." In fact, they were 
simply petted. The Japanese wife would have 
been greatly surprised if we should rashly conclude 
that, inasmuch as she did not share the public 
enjoyments and pomps of society with her 
husband, and inasmuch as she did not enjoy the 
acquaintance of her husband's friends, she was 
an unhappy wife. 

However, apart from all minor considerations, 
to understand the true significance of the moral 
sense which gave rise to the Onna Daigaku doc- 
trine, we have to consider the very basis of the 
general character of moral teaching in Japan. 
The seeming absurdity and apparent paradox 
of the doctrine, even to our Eastern eyes, will 
never be truly understood unless we extend our 
gaze to the general conception of morality by 
which the people have so long been governed. 



THE TEACHING OF BUSHIDO 21 

As I said at the beginning, the basis of the 
Japanese moral teaching consists in the highest 
sense of self-denial, self-abnegation, or any 
antithesis to selfishness. Take for an instance 
the Bushido, the most salient feature in the 
Japanese morality. (I may add that there is 
no dogma of the Bushido, nor any written code.) 
It preaches submission to authority, utter de- 
votion to one's overlord, and self-sacrifice of 
all private interest, whether of self or family, 
to the common weal. It is the morale of self- 
sacrifice. Now the Bushido, if it be translated 
into English, means " the way of the warriors '* 
or " warrior's spirit." In other words, it is a 
moral teaching for men ; or it may be, for con- 
venience' sake, termed " the Greater learning for 
men," compared with " the Greater learning for 
women." Of course, the Bushido is of the more 
dominating and overwhelming nature, and covers 
a much wider sphere in its application, and, 
furthermore, it may be said, almost without any 
fear of exaggeration, that the doctrine of Onna 
Daigaku is a different form of the Bushido spirit. 
This view will be more clearly confirmed when 
we notice Kaibara say, " A woman has no par- 
ticular lord ; she must look to her husband." 
This is indeed the key of his whole doctrine. 
The Bushido commands loyalty to one's lord ; 
the Onna Daigaku loyalty to woman's husband, 
who was, as we have just seen, truly her lord. 



22 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

Therefore, though it was not inculcated in quite 
the same form and manner, we shall see that 
what a Bushi did towards his lord was in its 
essence what a wife did towards her husband. 
The apparent impartiality of her treatment and 
severity of duty imposed upon the Japanese 
woman by the doctrine was no great wonder 
when we, in turn, look upon her husband, who, 
under the strictest discipline of the Bushido, 
had to act most unselfishly in the discharge of 
his duties to his liege lord. So, it is well to be 
remembered that the Onna Daigaku is but an 
offshoot from the general principle which tells 
us that nothing is nobler than self-sacrifice. 
Thus we shall also see that it was not woman 
only who was to submit to her superior, but so 
was man too to his superior, though the objects 
of their subjection were not certainly reciprocal. 
The moralists of antiquity asked themselves, 
" Why should woman alone be freed from the 
divine duty of human beings which Nature im- 
partially imposed upon us ? " But man of the 
present day would retort, " While a man receives 
woman's subjection in return for his subjection 
to his lord, and thus fills the gap, so to speak ; 
where and what can a woman obtain in return 
for her subjection to her husband ? " As a man 
of the present day I am not backward in joining 
my voice to the chorus in this protest. 

Next, what we notice is the onerous nature 



A WIFE'S DUTIES 23 

of duties imposed upon a wife towards her parents- 
in-law. This is undoubtedly the outcome of the 
combined idea of ancestor-worship and the main- 
tenance of the family name, and also the inevitable 
result of the practice of married couples living 
in the same house with their parents. An eldest 
son, an heir, be he real or adopted, was to 
succeed to his father's position as head of the 
family ; and to make himself a worthy family 
head he had to learn every minor matter besides 
business affairs, if there were any, appertaining 
to the family : from the personality, if not 
character, of every member among his relations 
— generally numerous in number — and all sorts 
of family specialities in various matters, social 
or domestic, religious or ceremonial — most of 
them descended from the time immemorial — 
down to the kinds of gifts to be given to his 
tenants and servants on certain occasions ; all 
had to be well understood by him. His wife, 
too, could not be held entirely irresponsible in 
these matters. Therefore a man and his wife, 
on their wedding, entered into an apprenticeship 
under those whom they would presently succeed. 
A woman's parents-in-law being, sooner or later, 
to join a group of her family ancestors, she was 
taught to serve them with the utmost reverence 
and worship. We often see even now a large 
family where a grandfather and grandmother 
enjoy their companionship with their sons and 



24 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

daughters and boys and girls who are yet further 
remote offspring of theirs. While solitude and 
loneliness in a family are with us of rare occurrence, 
the youthful jubilation of a young couple at their 
secluded settlement is no usual happening. 

Finally, we are naturally anxious to know 
what effect the doctrine may have brought about 
upon the Japanese women, or at least how far it 
has influenced woman's character. The object 
of the investigation exists now before our eyes, 
and everybody can draw conclusions as he or she 
may like. But for my part I am quite certain 
that for good or evil the Japanese women, to 
say nothing of the other characters, are the most 
obedient, docile, submissive, and even most 
humble women in the world. Thus woman's 
power of independence and self-reliance so far dis- 
appeared, or even if possessed of those qualities, 
she could hardly find a chance to display them 
without exciting much objection and disgust 
in her husband and relatives at large. Of the 
other characteristics of our women, I am not by 
any means a good judge, and I think it much 
better to quote what foreigners — I am glad to 
say they are chiefly English — say of our women. 
Professor Chamberlain, who is beyond question 
an authority on Japan, says, *' Japanese women 
are most womanly, kind, gentle, pretty." Here 
is a most daring compliment from the pen of 
an Englishman, which runs as follows : " How 



WESTERN IDEAS 26 

sweet Japanese woman is ! All the possibilities 
of the race for goodness seem to concentrate in 
her. It shakes one's faith in some Oriental 
doctrines. If this be the result of suppression 
and oppression, then these are not altogether 
bad. On the other hand, how diamond-hearted 
the character of the American woman becomes 
under the idolatry of which she is the object. 
In the eternal order of things, which is the higher 
being — the childlike, confiding, sweet Japanese 
girl, or the superb, calculating, penetrating 
Occidental Circe of our more artificial society, 
w^ith the enormous power for evil and her limited 
capacity for good ? " One critic went even 
further — little to the comfort of man — saying 
decidedly, " They are immeasurably superior 
to men." After all this, it is no exaggeration to 
say that the unanimous verdict given by Western 
observers is, that the Japanese woman is charm- 
ing, sweet, gentle, and tender. Great compliment 
as it is to our women, I am inclined to think that 
some judges must have been struck by it as a 
strange phenomenon, and, moreover, their con- 
clusions may have been drawn after a little 
over-strained experience in their Western matri- 
monial life, or some of them may have been prone 
to indulge a little in day-dreams. 

Yet as a wife, her sincere affection, her loving 
tenderness, and her true, faithful devotion to her 
husband is most remarkable. It seems to me that 



26 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

these natures are not merely a " result of sup- 
pression and oppression." The late Mr. Lafcadio 
Hearn, after giving his admirable translation of 
a diary left by a married Japanese woman, said, 
*' The brave resolve of the woman to win affection 
by docility and by faultless performance of duty, 
her gratitude for every small kindness, her child- 
like piety, her supreme unselfishness, her Buddhist 
interpretation of suffering as the penalty for some 
faults committed in a previous life, her attempt 
to write poetry when her heart was breaking — 
all this I find touching and more than touching. 
But I do not find it exceptional ! The traits 
revealed are typical — typical of the moral nature 
of the people." Indeed, as a wife, the Japanese 
woman is of a quiet, peaceful disposition, fond 
of home, virtuous, and generally of an appear- 
ance that should not cause her husband to ever 
be jealous of her. She is homely ; haughtiness 
and superciliousness are foreign to our sense of 
beauty. 

As for an unmarried girl, men might almost 
say, " We don't know what she is like." She 
is not the property of any young man, nor does 
she belong to herself, but to her parents. Friend- 
ship between a girl and a young man is non- 
existent in Japan. A girl at present is not at 
all under such a strict supervision as she was 
in former days, yet she is incapable of meeting 
young men on terms of equality, even to 



THE JAPANESE VIEW 27 

have a two minutes' talk with them ; she is more 
than shy, bashful, and palpitating. She does 
not, on the other hand, appear in man's eyes 
anything but a delicate and fragile porcelain 
figure. Of course, man is not quite free from 
censure, since his handling of the figure is not 
altogether gentle. Marriage being carried out 
entirely by her parents' will, her virgin days 
form but a long continuation of her child life ; 
of flirtation and courtship she knows nothing. 
One may, then, naturally wonder what a dull 
life a Japanese young man leads ! 

Lastly, I may briefly touch upon the present 
state of the problem. As things in Japan are 
still in a state of transition after such a great 
social revolution,* and especially so of the 
people's morals, it is no easy task to see in which 
direction the wind is really blowing. At present, 
however, the people have not to any noticeable 
extent departed from the spirit resting upon 
Kaibara's doctrine. Of course, I must mention 
that his work, the Onna Daigaku, is no longer 
a favourite book of women, and that perhaps 
nine girls out of ten have not had even a glimpse 
of its famous pages. But as the Onna Daigaku 
was, as I said before, an embodiment of the 
people's moral nature, the important meaning 
of the doctrine, needless to say, does not rest 
upon the book, but upon the heads of the people 
♦ See the Appendix A, 



28 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

themselves, and so far the people have not under- 
gone much change in their mode of thought with 
regard to this problem. Hence text-books in 
girls' schools are more or less imbued with the 
doctrine in the original or in a modified form. 
There was, however, an attempt to overthrow 
the prevailing idea by the late Mr. Fukuzawa, 
the greatest educator of modern Japan, to whom 
present Japan owes much of its civilisation, 
which culminated in the promulgation of the 
Shin Onna Daigaku or " the new greater learning 
for women." Great and formidable as his success 
was in the other departments of thought, his 
new effort has not, up to the present, brought 
about much important effect upon the problem. 
So long as, I think, the present family system of 
the people and their customs and condition of 
living do not make any marked change, a com- 
paratively large portion of the doctrine will hold 
good and be found convenient by men. But on 
the other hand, if women in new Japan become 
more enlightened and look for happiness, both 
for men and women, in a new form, and start 
themselves a movement for the " emancipation 
of women," how things will turn out I cannot 
say. But I can, at the same time, assure our 
women that there is an unexpectedly large number 
of men who are quite ready to back them up if 
any of those movements should come to the fore. 
To avoid any possible misunderstanding on 



DIVORCE 29 

the part of my readers, I feel it my duty to add 
here that with regard to the severance of conjugal 
relations between a husband and wife, the reasons 
minutely enumerated by Kaibara have no im- 
portance whatever, and these matters are now 
distinctly regulated by the Civil Code, an extract 
of which will be found at the end of the book. 

Shingoro Takaishi. 

Aj}riU 1905. 



WOMEN AND WISDOM 
OF JAPAN 



?i 



girl's instruction 



SEEING that it is a girFs destiny, on reaching 
womanhood, to go to a new home, and live 
in submission to her father-in-law, it is even more 
incumbent upon her than it is on a boy to receive 
with all reverence her parents' instructions. 
Should her parents, through her tenderness, allow 
her to grow up self-willed, she will infallibly show 
herself capricious in her husband's house, and 
thus alienate his affection ; while, if her father- 
in-law be a man of correct principles, the girl 
will find the yoke of these principles intolerable. 
She will hate and decry her father-in-law, and 
the end of these domestic dissensions will be her 
dismissal from her husband's house and the 
covering of herself with ignominy. Her parents, 
forgetting the faulty education they gave her, 
may, indeed, lay all the blame on the father-in- 
law. But they will be in error ; for the whole 
disaster should rightly be attributed to the faulty 
education the girl received from her parents. 

• • • • • 

More precious in a woman is a virtuous heart 

33 o 



§4 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

than a face of beauty. The vicious woman's 
heart is ever excited ; she glares wildly around 
her, she vents her anger on others, her words are 
harsh and her accent vulgar. When she speaks, 
it is to set herself above others, to upbraid others, 
to envy others, to be puffed up with individual 
pride, to jeer at others, to outdo others — all 
things at variance v»dth the way in which a 
woman should walk. The only qualities that 
befit a woman are gentle obedience, chastity, 
mercy, and quietness. 



n 

DEMARKATION BETWEEN THE SEXES 

From her earliest youth a girl should observe 
the line of demarkation separating women from 
men, and never, even for an instant, should she 
be allowed to see or hear the least impropriety. 
The customs of antiquity did not allow men and 
women to sit in the same apartment, to keep 
their wearing apparel in the same place, to 
bathe in the same place, or to transmit to each 
other anything directly from hand to hand. A 
woman going abroad at night must in all cases 
carry a lighted lamp ; and (not to speak of 
strangers) she must observe a certain distance 
in her relations even with her husband and 
with her brothers. In our days the women 



£)EMARKATI0N between the sexes 55 

of lower classes, ignoring all rules of this 
nature, behave themselves disorderly ; they 
contaminate their reputations, bring down re- 
proach upon the head of their parents and 
brothers, and spend their whole lives in an un- 
profitable manner. Is not this truly lamentable ? 
It is written likewise in the Lesser Learning 
that a woman must form no friendship and no 
intimacy except when ordered to do so by her 
parents or by middlemen,^ Even at the peril 
of her life must she harden her heart like rock 
or metal and observe the rules of propriety. 



Ill 

" SEVEN REASONS FOR DIVORCE " 

In China marriage is called " returning," for 
the reason that a woman must consider her 
husband's home as her own, and that, when she 
marries, she is therefore returning to her own 
home. However low and needy her husband's 
position may be, she must find no fault with him, 
but consider the poverty of the household which 

* The middleman is the go-between. It is the parents' duty 
in Japan to secure a suitable partner for their child, and, in 
turn, the conduct of the affair is customarily intrusted to a third 
person (generally some married friend of theirs). The middle- 
man thus negotiates the marriage, and often remains through 
life a sort of godfather to the young couple. 



36 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

it has pleased Heaven to give her as the ordering 
of an unpropitious fate. The sage of old taught 
that, once married, she must never leave her 
husband's house. Should she forsake the " way " 
and be divorced, shame shall cover her till her 
latest hour. With regard to this point, there 
are seven faults which are termed the " Seven 
Reasons for Divorce " : ^ 

(i) A woman shall be divorced for disobedience 
to her father-in-law or mother-in-law. (ii) A 
woman shall be divorced if she fail to bear child- 
ren, the reason for this rule being that women 
are sought in marriage for the purpose of giving 
men posterity. A barren woman should, how- 
ever, be retained if her heart be virtuous and her 
conduct correct and free from jealousy, in which 
case a child of the same blood must be adopted ; 
neither is there any just cause for a man to 
divorce a barren wife if he have children by a 
concubine, (iii) Lewdness is a reason for divorce, 
(iv) Jealousy is a reason for divorce, (v) Leprosy 
or any like foul disease is a reason for divorce, 
(vi) A woman shall be divorced who, by 

' Before the present system of government was adopted — 
that is to say, about forty years ago — Japan had no divorce 
law, nor a court for such a petition, and the divorce was effected 
either by mutual agreement between the husband and wife or 
entirely by the huisband's will. As any of these reasons was 
justifiable for a husband to announce a divorce against his 
wife, the reasons enumerated here, in a sense, appeared to have 
amounted to a code of law. Fur tlie present condition see the 
Appendix B. 



SEVEN REASONS FOR DIVORCE 37 

talking overmuch and prattling disrespectfully, 
disturbs the harmony of kinsmen and brings 
trouble on her household, (vii) A woman shall 
be divorced who is addicted to stealing. All the 
*' Seven Reasons for Divorce " were taught by 
the sage. A woman, once married, and then 
divorced, has wandered from the " way," and is 
covered with great shame, even if she should 
enter into a second union with a man of wealth 
and position. 

• • '• • • ■ 

It is the chief duty of a girl living in the 
parental house to practise filial piety towards her 
father and mother. But after marriage her duty 
is to honour her father-in-law and mother-in-law, 
to honour them beyond her father and mother, 
to love and reverence them with all ardour, 
and to tend them with practice of every filial 
piety. While thou honourest thine own parents, 
think not lightly of thy father-in-law ! Never 
should a woman fail, night and morning, to pay 
her respects to her father-in-law and mother-in- 
law. Never should she be remiss in performing 
any tasks they may require of her. With all 
reverence must she carry out, and never rebel 
against, her father-in-law's commands. On every 
point must she inquire of her father-in-law and 
mother-in-law, and abandon herself to their 
direction. Even if thy father-in-law and mother- 
in-law be pleased to hate and vilify thee, be not 



38 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

angry with them, and murmur not. If thou 
carry piety towards them to its utmost limits, 
and minister to them in all sincerity, it cannot 
be but that they will end by becoming friendly 
to thee. 



IV 

THE wife's miscellaneous DUTIES 

A WOMAN has no particular lord. She must 
look to her husband as her lord, and must serve 
him with all worship and reverence, not despising 
or thinking lightly of him. The great lifelong 
duty of a woman is obedience. In her dealings 
with her husband, both the expression of her 
countenance and style of her address should be 
courteous, humble, and conciliatory, never peevish 
and intractable, never rude and arrogant — that 
should be a woman's first and chiefest care. 
When the husband issues his instructions, the 
wife must never disobey them. In doubtful 
case she should inquire of her husband, and 
obediently follow his commands. If ever her 
husband should inquire of her, she should answer 
to the point — to answer in a careless fashion were 
a mark of rudeness. Should her husband be 
roused at any time to anger, she must obey him 
with fear and trembling, and not set herself up 
against him in anger and forwardness, A womau 



THE WIFE'S MISCELLANEOUS DUTIES 39 

should look on her husband as if he were Heaven 
itself, and never weary of thinking how she may 
yield to her husband and thus escape celestial 
castigation. 

• • • • • 

As brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law are the 
brothers and sisters of a woman's husband, they 
deserve all her reverence. Should she lay herself 
open to the ridicule and dislike of her husband's 
kindred, she would offend her parents-in-law, and 
do harm even to herself ; whereas, if she lives on 
good terms with them, she will likewise rejoice 
the hearts of parents-in-law. Again, she should 
cherish, and be intimate with, her brother-in- 
law and his wife, esteeming them as she does 
her own elder brother and sister. 

Let her never even dream of jealousy. If her 
husband be dissolute, she must expostulate with 
him, but never either nurse or vent her anger. 
If her jealousy be extreme, it will render her 
countenance frightful and her accent repulsive, 
and can only result in completely alienating her 
husband from her, and making her intolerable 
to his eyes. Should her husband act ill and 
unreasonably, she must compose her countenance 
and soften her voice to remonstrate with him ; 
and if he be angry and listen not to the remon- 
strance, she must wait over a season, and then 
expostulate with him again when hi? heart i§ 



40 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

softened. Never set thyself up against thy hus- 
band with harsh features and a boisterous voice. 

• • • • • 

A woman should be circumspect and sparing 
in her use of words, and never, even for a pass- 
ing moment, should she slander others or be 
guilty of untruthfulness. Should she ever hear of 
calumny, she should keep it to herself and repeat 
it to none ; for it is retailing of calumny that 
disturbs the harmony of kinsmen and ruins the 
peace of families. 

m m w 

A woman must be ever on the alert, and keep 
a strict watch over her own conduct. In the 
morning she must rise early, and at night go 
late to rest. Instead of sleeping in the middle 
of the day, she must be intent on the duties of 
her household, and must not weary of weaving, 
sewing, and spinning. Of tea and wine she must 
not drink overmuch, nor must she feed her eyes 
and ears with theatrical performances, ditties, 
and ballads. To temples ^ (whether Shinto or 
Buddhist) and other like places where there is 
a great concourse of people, she should go but 
sparingly till she has reached the age of forty. 



^ Tbe Japanese temples are the centreB of festivals, and 
people go there not only for worshipping, but pleasure ; indeed, 
a great number for the latter purpose. The Scotch game or 
market-day in the country may be likened to the turn-out of 
these occasions, 



THE WIFE'S MISCELLANEOUS DUTIES 41 

She must not let herself be led astray by 
mediums and divineresses, and enter into an 
irreverent familiarity with the gods ; neither 
should she be constantly occupied in praying. 
If only she satisfactorily perform her duties as 
a human being, she may let prayer alone without 
ceasing to enjoy the divine protection. 

In her capacity of wife, she must keep her 
husband's household in proper order. If the 
wife be evil and profligate, the house is ruined. 
In everything she must avoid extravagance, and 
both with regard to food and raiment must act 
according to her station in life, and never give 
way to luxury and pride. 

While young, she must avoid the intimacy 
and familiarity of her husband's kinsmen, com- 
rades, and retainers, ever strictly adhering to 
the rule of separation between the sexes ; and 
on no account whatever should she enter into 
correspondence with a young man. Her personal 
adornments and the colour and pattern of her 
garments should be unobtrusive. It suffices for 
her to be neat and cleanly in her person and in 
her wearing apparel. It is wrong in her, by an 
excess of care, to obtrude herself on other people's 
notice. Only that which is suitable should be 
practised. 

a m n » 

• • • • • 

She must not selfishly think first of her own 



42 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

parents and only secondly of her husband's re- 
lations. At New Year, on Five Festivals, and 
on other like occasions she should pay her first 
respect to those of her husband's house, and then 
to her own parents. Without her husband's 
permission, she must go nowhere, neither should 
she make any gift on her own responsibility. 

As a woman rears up posterity not to her own 
parents, but to her father-in-law and mother-in- 
law, she must value the latter even more than the 
former, and tend them filial piety. Her visits, 
also, to the paternal house should be rare after 
marriage. Much more then with regard to other 
friends should it generally suffice for her to send a 
message to inquire after their health. Again, she 
must not be filled with pride at the recollection of 
the splendour of her parental house, and must not 
make it the subject of her conversations. 



THE TREATMENT OF SERVANTS 

However many servants she may have in her 
employ, it is a woman's duty not to shirk the 

' The Japanese parlourmaids are more concerned with the 
household in which they are employed, and more familiar to 
their masters, mistresses, and other members of th^ family than 
the English ones, 



THE TREATMENT OF SERVANTS 43 

trouble of attending to everything herself. She 
must sew her father-in-law's and mother-in-law's 
garments, and make ready their food. Ever 
attentive to the requirements of her husband, 
fihe must fold his clothes and dust his rug, rear 
his childi'en, wash what is dirty, be constantly 
in the midst of her household, and never go 
abroad but of necessity. 

• • ■ • • 

Her treatment of her handmaidens will require 
circumspection. Those low-born girls have had 
no proper education; they are stupid, obstinate, 
and vulgar in their speech. When anything in the 
conduct of their mistress's husband or parents-in- 
law crosses their wishes, they fill her ears with 
their invectives, thinking thereby to render her 
a service. But any woman who should listen 
to this gossip must beware of the heart- 
burnings it will be sure to breed. Easy is it by 
reproaches and disobedience to lose the love 
of those who, like a woman's marriage con- 
nections, were all originally strangers ; and it 
were surely folly, by believing the prattle of a 
servant-girl, to diminish the affection of a precious 
father-in-law and mother-in-law. If a servant 
girl be altogether too loquacious and bad, she 
should speedily be dismissed ; for it is by the 
gossips of such persons that occasion is given for 
the troubling of the harmony of kinsmen and the 
disordering of a household. Again, in her dealings 



44 WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAPAN 

with these low people, a woman will find many 
things to disapprove of. But if she be for ever 
reproving and scolding, and spend her time in 
hustle and anger, her household will be in a con- 
tinual state of disturbance. When there is real 
wrongdoing, she should occasionally notice it, and 
point out the path of amendment, while lesser 
faults should be quietly endured without anger. 
While in her heart she compassionates her 
subordinates' weakness, she must outwardly 
admonish them with all strictness to walk in the 
path of propriety, and never allow them to fall 
into idleness. If any is to be succoured, let her 
not be grudging of her money ; but she must not 
foolishly shower down her gifts on such as merely 
please her individual caprice, but are unprofitable 
servants. 



VI 

THE INFIRMITIES OF WOMAN 

The five worst infirmities that afflict the female 
are indocility, discontent, slander, jealousy, and 
silliness. Without any doubt, these five infirmi- 
ties are found in seven or eight out of every ten 
women, and it is from these that arises the 
inferiority of women to men. A woman should 
cure them by self-inspection and self-reproach. 



THE mFIRMlTlES OP WOMAN 45 

The worst of them all and the parent of the other 
four is silliness. Woman's nature is passive. 
This passiveness being of the nature of night is 
dark. Hence, as viewed from the standard of 
man's nature, the foolishness of woman fails to 
understand the duties that lie before her very 
eyes, perceives not the actions that will bring 
down blame upon her own head, and compre- 
hends not even the things that will bring down 
calamities on the head of her husband and child- 
ren. Neither when she blames and accuses and 
curses innocent persons, nor when, in her jealousy 
of others, she thinks to set up herself alone, does 
she see that she is her own enemy, estranging 
others and incurring thek hatred. Lamentable 
errors ! Again, in the education of her children, 
her blind affection induces an erroneous system. 
Such is the stupidity of her character that it is 
incumbent on her, in every particular, to distrust 
herself and to obey her husband. 

a 

We are told that it was the custom of the 
ancients, on the birth of a female child, to let 
it lie on the floor for the space of three days. 
Even in this may be seen the likening of the 
man to heaven and of the woman to earth ; and 
the custom should teach a woman how necessary 
it is for her in everything to yield to her husband 
the first, and to be herself content with the second 
place ; to avoid pride, even if there be in her 



4a WOMEN AND WISDOM OF JAMN 

actions aught deserving praise ; and, on the other 
hand, if she transgress in aught and incur blame, 
to wend her way through the difficulty and amend 
the fault, and so conduct herself as not again to 
lay herself open to censure ; to endure without 
anger and indignation the jeers of others, suffering 
such things with patience and humility. If a 
woman acts thus, her conjugal relation cannot 
but be harmonious and enduring, and her house- 
hold a scene of peace and concord. 

• • • • • 

Parents ! teach the foregoing maxims to your 
daughters from their tenderest years ! Copy 
them out from time to time, that they may read 
and never forget them ! Better than the gar- 
ments and divers vessels which the fathers of 
the present day so lavishly bestow upon their 
daughters when giving them away in marriage, 
were it to teach them thoroughly these precepts, 
which would guard them as- a precious jewel 
throughout their lives. How true is that ancient 
saying : "A man knoweth how to spend a million 
pieces of money in marrying off his daughter, 
but knoweth not how to spend a hundred thou- 
sand in bringing up his child ! " Such as have 
daughters must lay this well to heart. 



APPENDICES 



47 



APPENDIX A 

THE JAPANESE REVOLUTION" 

EVERY historian who deals with the modern 
history of Japan dates the new epoch 
from the time when the American Commodore 
Perry came to this country with his " black 
ships," as the Japanese then called warships. 

I cannot venture to depart from this estab- 
lished precedent in my description, and, indeed, 
using a favourite Japanese phrase, the blank shot 
fired from Perry's ships was the signal for the 
raising of the curtain which had covered the 
whole country, and behind which the people had 
revelled in their entire isolation from the outer 
world for so many years. 

Now it was in 1853 when Perry paid his armed 
yet very peaceful visit to this hermit country. 
It was only some months ago that the fiftieth 
anniversary of his visit was celebrated at Tokio 
with a full expression of the national gratitude 
to him and his country. 

Well, I think it is important to give you here 

49 D 



60 APPENDIX A 

some idea as to the condition of the country at 
this time. Japan was then under the Government 
of the Tokugawa Shj^ogun ; that is to say, the 
inhabitants dwelt under a feudal system which 
had been so carefully planned by the founder of 
the Tokugawa Dynasty that his line lasted for 
the longest period that ever the feudal rulers in 
Japan enjoyed, viz. 260 years. 

I have to explain what the Shyogun's position 
really was. The Shyogun was the Emperor's 
deputy. The principle of the relationship be- 
tween him and the Emperor (known in Europe 
as the Mikado) was never put down in any statute, 
but practically it was very simple and clear, 
because, frankly speaking, such power as the 
Shyogun then enjoyed had really been wrested 
from the Emperor, though it was obtained by 
peaceful methods, and was justified by time- 
honoured traditions. It was, as a matter of fact, 
announced by the Shyogun that he was entrusted 
by the Emperor with the whole affairs of the 
State, the Emperor reserving no power of sanction 
or veto with regard to his conduct. In short, the 
Emperor gave up all those rights and duties 
which properly attach to the Sovereign of a 
country except the actual occupancy of the 
throne. The Shyogun might declare war against 
a foreign country, as weU as make a treaty with 
one, without sanction from the Emperor, and 
might even ignore him altogether as regards the 



POSITION OF THE SHYOGUN 61 

negotiations. This is a brief statement of their 
relationship. 

The Shyogun resided in Yedo (now Tokio) 
with all his Governmental officials, and the 
Emperor dwelt in Kyoto. Yedo of course took 
the shape of a capital, with the largest popula- 
tion, wealth, luxury, and social prosperity. Under 
the Shyogun there were about 300 Daimyo, i.e. 
feudal lords, each possessing subjects and lands 
in his own locality. 

As to the diplomacy of the country the motto 
of the founder of the Tokugawa Dynasty was 
" no intercourse whatever." This would have 
been beyond question the best way to keep the 
nation uninformed and undisturbed, and therefore 
prepared to give blind obedience to the Shyogun. 
There were but few in those days who knew that 
there was a vast land called America, or were 
cognisant of the existence of Great Britain. 

In these circumstances it is hardly possible to 
imagine now how great the wonder was when they 
knew of the sudden presence of the American 
ships near Yedo Bay. The whole nation felt 
that it had lost its individuality. The people 
had no idea of friendly intercourse between 
nations. The existence of a State was deemed 
to be at an end when it came into contact with 
some superior State. The maintenance of a State 
in friendly intercourse with another was looked 
upon as a matter of impossibility. " The 



52 APPENDIX A 

weaker," it was supposed, " always went to the 
waU/' 

Let me now come back to the subject of the 
" black ships." While the event created such an 
astonishment and alarm throughout the country 
as had never been known before, it served as a 
stimulant to the people's mind; as well as pointed 
out a path leading to the downfall of the Toku- 
gawa Government. Finding the task of dealing 
with the Americans too onerous for its own 
capacity, or considering the responsibility for 
the affairs to be altogether too great, the Yedo 
Government made a new departure from its long- 
cherished governing principle. It summoned the 
feudal lords to consider, firstly the course that 
should be pursued, and secondly to prepare an 
address to the Court in Kioto — that is to say, 
to the Emperor — a formal report concerning 
the advent of the American ships. Never pre- 
viously had the Yedo (government asked the 
feudal lords for their opinions as such, nor had 
it officially acquainted the Emperor with affairs 
of State. It is important to notice that this very 
act constituted a fatal blow to the Shyogun's 
administration, inasmuch as it was an open 
abrogation of its thereunto unique and autocratic 
authority. 

Let us now see what was the general attitude 
towards this momentous question of opening the 
country. Needless to say, the largest section of 



JAPAXESE ISOLATION 53 

the people was dead against conceding anything 
to the ahens. They had no reasons to urge for 
their conviction, but they regarded the isolation 
of the country as a divinely inherited creed, and 
therefore they did not want to reason about it, 
but simply to believe in it. Yet I may divide the 
people into three parties for convenience' sake. 
The members of the first were what we then called 
" Dutch Students,*' who advocated the opening 
of the country, and maintained very liberal and 
progressive views. 

Judging from their argument, their opinion was 
quite in accord with Free Trade. But this section, 
of course, was numerically small, and had no 
influence upon the pubKc at that early date. 
The second consisted of the people, who were 
also anti-foreign, but insisted on temporary com- 
pliance with the aliens' wishes, hoping to gain 
time to develop the national strength, so that 
they could presently beat o5 the foreign intruders. 
This opinion was held by comparatively a large 
number of educated people, and no doubt the 
Yedo (rovemment was largely inspired by this 
policy. 

Meanwhile, Commodore Perry, who had left the 
coimtry the previous year under a promise that 
the Yedo Government would give a definite answer 
in the following year, now came over once more 
to repeat the tactics he had employed before. 
After a long and embarrassing council, the Yedo 



54 APPENDIX A 

Government at last found no other course but 
to open some comparatively unimportant ports 
in 1858. 

This concession, I may say, was the signal for 
an outburst of national indignation. By this 
time the doctrine to revere the Emperor, which 
was renewed and emphasised some half century 
before by Shinto scholars and many profound 
thinkers, had now begun to bear fruit in the minds 
of a large section of the people. Disgusted with 
the Yedo Government, which, they thought, had 
disgracefully given way to the foreigners, and 
inspired by the doctrine of the superiority of the 
Emperor, the whole nation closed up into one 
party to resist this national calamity. The cry 
of " Son-no- jo-i " was reverberated from end to 
end of the country. " Son-no- jo-i " means, " Re- 
vere the sovereign, expel the aliens." Thus the 
first act of the revolution was opened. 

The dispute as regards the opening of the 
country had by this time been dropped and put 
into the background. The most important ques- 
tion was this : how to elect a powerful Government 
to deal with the national affairs in accordance 
with their ancestral dignity. No doubt this idea 
began to take root in the people's mind, owing 
to the revelation of the weakness of the Yedo 
Government. 

Unfortunately for the Shyogun's Government, 
amidst this controversy they lost the services of 



EMPEROR AND SHYOGUN 55 

their ablest premier, Tairo li, who was assas- 
sinated by a band of the Mito Clan's Samurai, 
who were indignant at his high-handed policy in 
oppressing the antagonists to the Yedo adminis- 
tration. After his death the Shyogun was prac- 
tically unable to control his subjects, and for the 
moment the country seemed to be in a state of 
complete anarchy, and a large number of the 
feudal lords knew not what to do. 

To solve the momentous question how to elect 
an effective Government, there was first put for- 
ward a moderate doctrine entitled a " System of 
Co-operative Government." Its principal feature 
was to bring both the Emperor and Shyogun 
into a workable Government. This opinion was 
held by many responsible and powerful feudal 
lords, as well as by a great number of their able 
subjects, and it was most popular and therefore 
had great influence, because the largest portion 
of the feudal lords and people were as well devoted 
and loyal to their feudal ruler the Shyogun as to 
the Emperor, and even the radical party, it seems 
to me, never thought at the beginning of such a 
complete destruction of the Shyogun's Govern- 
ment as thev devised later on. 

However, to understand the situation it must 
be remembered that there was a peculiar section 
of people who had never paid homage to the 
Shyogun and had the easiest access to the 
Emperor. They were what we called " Kuge " 



66 APPENDIX A 

— the Court nobility. They were the descendants 
of the nobility, who once exerted great influence 
in the Court when the Emperor had personally 
governed the country. While the reins were in the 
hands of the Shyogun they had nothing to do but 
to attend some occasional Court ceremonials, and 
practically had no influence either politically or 
socially. But now this group of nobility began 
to play a most important part in the drama of 
the revolution. Furthermore, it happened that 
there were some clever and statesmanlike poli- 
ticians among them. 

Quite naturally the majority of the nobflity 
did not like the principle of " give and take,'* 
that is, of " Co-operative Government," but aimed 
at the perfect restoration of power to the Kyoto 
Court. At this time a number of young and 
ambitious Samurai, of comparatively low rank, 
under their respective lords, were gravitating 
towards the Kyoto Court, and there found friends 
among the nobility. The Samurai of the 
Chyoshyu Clan, one of the most powerful, at 
last persuaded their lord to take most decisive 
measures to support the Kyoto Court in an effort 
to regain power. The Court nobility thus brought 
a most powerful chieftain to their aid. By this 
time the Satsuma Clan, also one of the strongest, 
was changing its opinion in favour of the support 
of the Kyoto policy, and therefore formed an 
alliance with the Chyoshyu Clan, against whom 



A COURT INTRIGUE 57 

a little time before they had fought a fight for 
the Shyogun. Consequently, although the in- 
trigue of the nobility with Chyoshyu to overturn 
the Yedo Government had been foiled on account 
of its premature disclosure, yet when the Shyogun 
sent troops to attack Chyoshyu, he found that 
the Satsuma's Samurai were acting upon a secret 
understanding with the objects of his wrath. 

On the whole, however, the overthrow of th@ 
Yedo Government and the restoration of the 
Kyoto Court was not yet a popular course. In 
addition to this, the Emperor Komei, father of 
the present Emperor, himself did not wish such 
a radical change of the Government, and the 
moderate nobility also supported the policy of 
*' co-operation." Therefore, when the Chyoshyu's 
intrigue was discovered, the Emperor dismissed 
the nobility who took part in the matter, and 
they thus forfeited their titles. 

In spite of this general desire for a peaceful 
and amicable settlement, there was an irresistible 
adverse current running underneath the whole 
surface. By this time the new Shyogun Keiki 
found more acutely than before that he was 
standing in a more and more difficult position, 
and that the ancient power of Shyogun had now 
vanished. This was a quite natural and necessary 
result of their action, because, as I have said 
before, the Yedo Government had already de- 
parted from its well-planned and fundamental 



68 APPENDIX A 

principle, which had its backbone in feudalism. 
Consequently, after the Shyogun's self-effacing 
act, the Yedo Government, although it retained 
to some extent its shape, may be likened to a 
body of which the spiritual essence has departed. 
At this time the chief of Tosa, a clan no less 
important than Satsuma or Chyoshyu, presented 
a remarkable memorial to the new Shyogun 
Keiki, setting forth the helplessness of the Yedo 
Government, and urging that in the interest of 
good Government, and in order that the nation's 
united strength might be available to meet the 
contingencies of its new career, the administrative 
power should be restored to the Emperor. Beyond 
question it must have been ridiculous to listen 
to such a plea if the Shyogun's power had re- 
mained unchanged. But Keiki himself was a 
man of common sense and loyal to the Emperor. 
No doubt he was convinced that the Shyogun's 
power had already gone for ever, and to attempt 
to keep up its old prestige was tantamount to 
awaiting the forced destruction of its whole 
edifice by other hands, and that, if it was once 
done, the glorious family of Tokugawa might 
have been completely effaced from contemporary 
history. Thus Tosa's timely advice gave definite 
form to his convictions, and at last, in 1867, 
fourteen years after the American advent to the 
country, the Shyogun Tokugawa Keiki presented 
a formal address to the present Emperor to be 



THE SHYOGUN ABDICATES 59 

permitted to give up his administrative powers 
into the Sovereign's own hands. It was a great 
as w^ell as patriotic determination on the part of 
Keiki, and well worthy the admiration of his 
compatriots, in that he gave up for his country 
his Court at Yedo, which had lacked no attribute 
of stately magnificence or autocratic strength, 
and retired wholly into private life. Nevertheless, 
this pacific act of the Shyogun was not received 
with much sympathy by some of the nobility 
and by the Samurai from the Satsuma and 
Chyoshyu Clans, who were now the best friends 
of the nobility. On the contrary, they desired 
not only to exclude the Shyogun Keiki from 
taking part in the new Government, but decided 
to ask him to abandon his fief and people at once. 
Apparently the chasm between the Revolutionists, 
or, I may say, the Imperialists, and the Shyogun 
was absolutely unbridgeable. The Imperialists 
had in view the thorough abrogation of the Shyo- 
gun's office and the creation of a strong central 
Government under direct control of the Emperor. 
In the face of such provocation Keiki, greatly 
moved by his loyal vassals, took up arms against 
Kyoto. But his force was defeated at the be- 
ginning by the Samurai of the southern clans, 
and he retired to Yedo (now Tokio), the seat of 
his Court, about three hundred miles north-east 
of Kyoto. 

Thereupon a regular army was formed at Kyoto 



60 APPENDIX A 

under the name of the " Imperial Army,*' to 
attack Yedo ; but when the force came near 
Yedo, the sensible Shyogun still did not lose his 
judgment, and evinced his appreciation of the 
situation in declaring once more his willingness 
to hand over his capital and to give up all his 
power. It will be remembered, although he 
voluntarily surrendered, he had still the majority 
of the feudal lords with him, and, if he had so 
desired, he could have accumulated a strong 
force, more powerful even than the Imperial 
Army. 

In spite of his determined surrender, his vassals 
in Yedo, and the clans' Samuria in several 
localities armed themselves, at their own dis- 
cretion, against the Imperialists, and fought for 
their cause with the most admirable sincerity 
and daring. Nevertheless, the Shyogunites, 
some of whom made so stubborn a resistance 
that they went to Yezo or Hokkaido, the extreme 
north of the country, and there proclaimed the 
establishment of a republic, were at last defeated 
and surrendered. I may add that Viscount 
Hayashi, the present Japanese Minister at the 
Court of St. James, was one of the Royal Shyo- 
gunites, and fought till the last, when he and his 
colleagues surrendered to the Imperial Army at a 
besieged fort in Hokkaido. 

Thus universal tranquillity was at last gained 
after one-and-a-half year's unrest, dating from 



THE NEW JAPAN 61 

the time that the Shyogun formally restored his 
power. 

What I have said is only a very broad outline 
of how the Japanese Revolution was carried out. 
In conclusion I must now briefly refer to the 
effects which it had upon the general policy of 
the country. I think you all understand the 
revolution was prompted by an inspiration to 
expel the aliens and in reverence for the sove- 
reign, and that therefore the new Government 
was the product of this anti-foreign idea. How- 
ever, the scene had undergone a sudden change ; 
anti-foreignism had vanished altogether. The 
new Government hastened to introduce the 
Western civilisation as much as they could. 
Everything of Japanese native production was 
now contemptuously put aside as " old and 
obsolete." More and more the Government 
sent students in numbers to every country where 
they thought they could learn Western civilisa- 
tion. The people who were not very long ago 
fiercely angry with everything foreign, now did 
not witness these changes with any sense of 
surprise whatever. They joined triumphantly 
in the new policy of the new Government. While 
respect for antiquity vanished, newness was the 
very mainspring and life of everything. This 
peculiar state of things is explained in two ways. 
First, the cry of " Alien expulsion " was raised 
mainly to condemn the policy of the Shyogun'a 



62 APPENDIX A 

Government, and thus to make the movement 
against Yedo appear a legitimate one. Secondly, 
the people got to know more about the foreigners 
after the opening of the country, which the 
Tokugawa Government was forced to do by the 
American envoy, and, seeing their superiority 
as well as their peaceful motives, they now fully 
recognised the advantages of maintaining the 
policy of the open door and of accommodating 
themselves to Western civilisation, and assimi- 
lating its advantages. 

Finally, in the year 23 Meiji, that is to say, 
about fifteen years ago from the present date, 
the new constitution which set forth the principle 
of the limited monarchy, having more resemblance 
to the British than any other country's, was 
promulgated, and the new Cabinet under the 
new constitution was formed with the Premier 
Marquis Ito, who was one of the Chyoshyu's 
Samurai. 



APPENDIX B 

THE LEGAL CONDITIONS FOR A DIVORCE 

An Extract from the Japanese Civil Code 

Prov. 808. The husband and wife may effect 
a divorce by mutual consent. 

Prov. 809. A person who has not reached the 
age of twenty-five in order to effect a divorce by 
mutual consent must obtain the consent of those 
persons whose consent, according to Arts. 772 
and 773, would be necessary to his contracting 
a marriage. 

Prov. 813 (judicial divorce). A husband or 
a wife, as the case may be, can bring an action 
for divorce only in the following cases : 

1. If the other party contracts a second 

marriage. 

2. If the wife commits adultery. 

3. If the husband is sentenced to punish- 

ment for an offence involving criminal 
carnal intercourse. 

4. If the other party is sentenced to punish- 

ment for an offence greater than mis- 
demeanour, involving forgery, bribery, 

63 



64 APPENDIX B 

sexual immorality, theft, robbery, ob- 
taining property by false pretences, 
embezzlement of goods deposited, re- 
ceiving property obtained criminally, 
or any of the offences specified in 
Arts. 175 or 260 of the Criminal Code, 
or is sentenced to a major imprisonment 
or more. 
6. If any party is deserted by the other with 
wilful intention. 

6. If any party is ill-treated or grossly in- 

sulted by an ascendant of the other 
party. 

7. If an ascendant of one party is ill-treated 

or grossly insulted by the other party. 

8. If it has been uncertain for three years 

or more whether the other party was 
alive or dead. 

9. In the case of the adoption of a Muko- 

yoshi,^ if the adoption is dissolved ; or 
in the case of the marriage of an adopted 
son with a daughter of the house, if the 
adoption is dissolved or cancelled. 

* Mukoyoshi is a person who is adopted by another, and at 
the same time marries the daughter of the house, who would be 
the heir to the headship of the house. 



Printed by ffazdl, Watson & Viney, Ld , London and Aylesbury, 



/62,0 



CLAPP 



3^ 5002 00163 7417 

ara, Ekiken ' -r i / 

len and wisdom of Japan / 



DATE DUE 


ft^ 


feMQfi 






^^ 








I\ V < 


rigar 






^ 


■■ ^<'-id--i 






















'ft^ 


^ fllAAT 






VLI^ 
















"*■ 'i-f' 


•?fii| 
















1 






















































)RD 






PRINTED IN U.S.A.